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    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJan 3rd 2009
    I have heard there are district quotas - so if the area you are applying for has met their quota, it goes very slowly. Whether this is truth or fiction, I don't know. I know people who have fought for years and others who were approved right away. I have heard mental illness cases get it easier than physical. My husbands sister, who was diagnosed 3 years ago with AD was approved in about 3 months -she was in New Hampshire.

    How far along do they have to be to qualify for SSD? My husband is collecting unemployment -he goes out and applies to 3 places a week. Of course with the unemployment like it is, his age, and lack of skills (he was a printer all his life), he won't get hired.

    Glad for those who were approved and will be praying all you who are waiting get your approval 'yesterday'.
    My wife applied for disability and has been declined twice so far...Are there any great lawyers or attorneys out there looking for some pro bono work??
    • CommentAuthorsusanhere
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2009

    When I had to retire early due to an increasingly painful disability, I was turned down on first application for SS disability. I learned from a friend that attorneys who will take your case, based on a cursory review, do not charge an upfront fee. They get 33 percent of the back pay that SS is determined to owe you once you have been approved. Here in SC it is drafted directly to the attorney by SS. I don't know absolutely that that is the case everywhere, but it seems logical.. Incidentally, my attorney was successful and managed to get my case reviewed in comparatively quick order...about six months. At the time newspaper reports were of two year or longer waits. Check into it on Monday.
    • CommentAuthorKadee*
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2010
    I was ask this question & didn't know the answer, hopefully someone here can help.
    Can you receive SSD & SS at the same time?
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2010
    Kadee--Answer is: NO. Only one or the other dependent on age. SSDI will convert to SS at the full retirement age, though, without the recipient having to do anything.
    • CommentAuthorKadee*
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2010 edited
    Thank you Carosi. I thought as much, but, I didn't really know when the person ask.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2010
    The only benefit of going for SSDI before 65 or 66 is that the SSDI will be close to what their SS would have been at full retirement age. My hb is 62 and had already applied for SS. When he was approved for SSDI it jumped to the full retirement age. And being on SSDI you are eligible for medicare earlier than waiting until 65.
    • CommentAuthorElaineH
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2012
    I decided not to start a new thread because I knew that there had to be one about Social Security Disability. Anyway, because of all of you wise people here I decide to file for SSD for my DH. I should have done this years ago, but I just didn't know. I made an appointment & when I went, the lady who was handling his case wasn't very nice. First of all she seemed put out that he wasn't there with me....well duh he has Alzheimer's & couldn't answer the questions anyway (I know that she didn't know that, but like I said, she seemed to have a bad attitude right off the bat). So in a snappy tone she told me that I could have done the paperwork online. Very nicely I apologized & told her that I tried to twice but after I answered a few questions it prompted me that I would have to contact the local office to proceed. SO again in a snappy tone she said that she didn't know why it would do that & maybe I wasn't on the correct site. I soooo wanted to give it right back to her, but I didn't. Anyway she asked me questions about his work history that I couldn't answer right of the top of my head & she showed me a print off of his earnings for a certain year & when I tried to show her his statement for that year she pushed it back at me & said that she had printed a statement. (UGH!) Anyway, I gave her the paperwork I had (the form to request the medical records from his doctors) & she said that I would be receiving notice from the agency handling his case. A few days later I get a call from the same lady & she was all sweet & nice BECAUSE, she needed the form for the medical records & wanted to know if I had one & could I fax it to her. She screwed up. She knew, that I knew. that I already gave her the form. Well I had already received the forms from the actual person who is handling his case & it just so happens that there was a form in that packet. I told her that & she told me that if I brought all the forms to her that she would fax everything to the person handling his case to expidite things. So I did. Lo & behold 2 days later I get a call from the lady handling his case & she told me that she has had the paperwork for 2 weeks, but she was waiting for the release form which she got that day.
    • CommentAuthorElaineH
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2012
    Well this lady was not only NICE, but she was helpful. She asked if he had been tested for Alzheimer's & I told her about going to the neurologist & the tests he had there, but she said that he would need another evaluation & that she would set it up. She asked me to tell her about DH & so I told her & she told me that I should write up a narative about his disease & give examples & dates of the progression. When I told her what happened she actually said that it sounds like he should have been reciving disability after his diagnosis. I then told her that he is currently collecting SS & that I am his representative payee. I asked her that when I went to apply to be his rep payee shouldn't someone have said something about him maybe being eligible for SS disability & she siad that someone should have addressed that with me. Today we received a notice of the appointment for him. It's on May 1st & I am so excited. I know that anything can happen & that a lot of times the request is denied, but like other LO's here, my DH seems on a decline. He says things that make no sense & he is getting paranoid again. I think the Seroquel is less effective then it has been.
    I'm sorry this is so long, but I wanted to share this with the people that I know who will appreciate this & understand. Thanks for reading this & bearing with me.
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2012
    Elaine...You will do fine and probably get it approved very quickly. It should be obvious to anyone that he is not able to work. Take your time when you write how he has progressed. It is so easy to forget the little things. Anything you are not really sure of that might relate to AD...use the phrase...."It is as likely as not
    when he started doing this or that it was part of his AD" even if you are not sure. A person that use to work at the SS disability office told me that is a phrase that is difficult for them to challenge. They have to prove that it isn't AD and with everyone being different that has AD that is difficult for them to do.

    Have you contacted your doctor and told him what you are doing. You might want to do that and maybe even send him a letter telling him about your application and tell him that you both know that your dh cannot work
    etc. etc. and you appreciate his cooperation in responding to any request from SS as soon as possible.

    When my dh applied for SS disability he got it right problem at all and of course you will get back pay to the date you applied. Good Luck
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2012
    I pointed out numerous times 'would you want someone working for you that can't remember how to do something or what he just did? I drove the point in that he would not be safe to have as an employee.

    when we met with their guy, the Dr said it was just a formality since all the doctors reports and mine made it obvious he could not longer work. So, we just sat and chatted.
    When my DH left work on Long Term Disablity, they informed me that he would need to apply for SSD within so many months. The SSD would offset the LTD. I started the process a month before the LTD said I should. I filled out all the paperwork on line and made an appointment with the SSD office. When I met with representative I had all of his medical records and test results for the past 3 years. We had a pet scan and a diagnosis of consitent with Alzheimer's also. I had the physicians fill out all the SSD paperwork that they needed to fill out ahead of time and had that with me. I was still worried that it would take awhile to get the claim approved. I did all the work for the SSD office and continued to get information and fax it to my representative there. My DH was approved with in 4 months. I was shocked and of coursed excited that I had no problem. It is awful to say we have to do their job for them.

    Just remember if you are applying for SSD and have received LTD that they may offset each other and that any back pay from SSD may go directly to them. It makes me angry that sometimes we have to go to attorneys to handle this for us and that they take that money away from our loved ones who need it for care. Becareful also sometimes disability attorneys will take one lump sum or will take a portion of it through out the life time of the person. Read the paperwork carefully. When my DH company was giving him a hard time at work because he was having difficulty, I hired a disability attorney until I could get him out on LTD, and they either wanted a percentage of his LTD or percentage of his Pension over a period of time or for me to pay them hourly. I chose hourly. And after he left on LTD, I did not use them anymore.

    I know that my outcome is not normal. Just try to have everything that you can get from tests, doctor reports, LTD paperwork where approved, work documentation with you at time of appointment. Get a fax number and a name of a person handling the case and a case number. Good luck to all of you.
    Elaine H--I worked for the Social Security Administration for 32 years. So when my husband applied for disability, I knew that I had to follow up on everything myself. First, as Judith said, contact your husband's doctor and tell him to expect a request from SSA, what's going on, etc. After a few weeks, check back with the doctor and make sure he received the request and submitted the information. Then check with SSA to see that the doctor's info is in your husband's file. In other words, double check on everything because otherwise, there's a strong chance things will get mixed up.

    SSA had mis-addressed the request to Steve's neuro and it came back marked "no such address". The person processing the case had just thrown the envelope in the file. Because I was checking, I found this out and obtained the medical reports myself and hand-carried them to the office processing the claim. He was approved shortly after.

    Sadly, Murphy's Law applies. A few phone calls are worth saving yourself some aggravation.
    • CommentAuthorxox
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2012
    I didn't have any problems with my wife's SSDI but our circumstances were a bit unusual. She had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that ended her career, a year after the TBI we had the FTD dx and we saw symptoms of FTD many years prior to the TBI. I think that made things more straight forward. I had all of the medical information (thankfully I took over that role since for years my wife would destroy any medical record and contact information once she stopped seeing a doctor). We had neurologist reports and a neuropsych exam. I was surprised that my wife was never asked to come into the SSA office for an interview. Based on my and other experiences a few recommendations:

    1) If you have to go to the SSA office, bring your spouse, especially if they are bad off. Some people reported that 5 minutes of the administrator seeing the spouse was enough to get approved for SSDI. This goes with the general rule in life to never cover up for your spouse when it comes to officialdom (don't dress them, don't clean them up, don't answer for them).

    2) Keep complete medical records. Dates of medical exams are very important. You are asking an agency for a large sum of money, they need evidence.

    3) SSA rules are different from private LTD insurance. SSDI is for people who cannot work at all, not just in their previous job. Private insurance often protects your current income, so if you can't work in your current job you are covered.

    4) Every private LTD policy is different. They may or may not include protection against inflation. The amount they deduct for SSDI payments will vary. Some will deduct for every dollar paid to a child (as in our case), others don't. Almost all private policies require you apply for SSDI, some will even pay for a lawyer if you are denied and need to appeal.

    5) In bad economic times it is harder to get SSDI. More people apply for it because they can, in theory work, but can't find a job. States have less money to pay their share and are more likely to reject claims.

    6) Dementia falls under the compassionate care, which doesn't mean your application will be accepted, merely that SSA will make a decision quicker.

    7) There person who deals with your application at the local office will need to send it to a expert who you probably won't meet or correspond with. The person at the local office will probably be in the dark about what is happening with the application.

    8) Tell the doctors that you applied for SSDI so they will be on the lookout for requests for information from SSA. Some doctors charge a fee for sending information to SSA, most of mine didn't.
    • CommentAuthorElaineH
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2012
    Thanks everyone for your comments & suggestions. Like I mentioned he has an appointment with the agency's doctor & you better believe that I won't open my mouth when the doctor asks DH any questions. I won't even tell him about the appointment until we walk into the building. For one thing he wouldn't understand what I was talking about & he would ask numerous questions over & over. This is on a “need to know” basis & he doesn't need to know before the actual appointment. First thing Monday morning I will call our PCP & Neurologist to let them know to expect a request fot their records concerning DH's apointments. When I applied to SS to be his representative payee the doctors had to send their records so it won't be anything new, but I will tell them to respond ASAP. He isn't on LTD so that won't be an issue. I'll let you know what transpires.
    • CommentAuthorElaineH
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
    ttt for Coco
    • CommentAuthorxox
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2012
    Off subject but I just got a call from SSA asking to talk with my wife. They wanted to know if she received the letter about a pilot program to help people on SSDI get back to work without a cut in benefits. I explained that my wife cannot go back to work and then told the rep that last week our caregiver left and gave my wife instructions on what to do when the oven timer went off and that my wife couldn't remember what to do and didn't think of getting me (I was in the house) to do something. And that she runs out of energy very quickly. I forgot to mention that I hire someone 40 hours a week to look after her (which costs more than the SSDI benefit). I did say I thought it was a good program, just not for my wife.
    • CommentAuthorElaineH
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2012
    So here is the follow up on his exam. It was with a Psychologist. We were in the waiting area & the doctor came out & introduced himself & said that he would be taking Tom back for about an hour & a half to interview him without me (& I thought, “Well that ain't happening.”!) So they went in the back & I started to listen to my audio book & 5 minutes later back they came & the doctor said that he was very upset that his wife wasn't with him so maybe I should come back (told ya so!) Anyway, he was trying to ask him questions about his military service & Tom said, “USS Forrestal, fought the fire for 24 hours, repaired the ship for 24 hours, I fought for my country in the army, navy, marines.” (this is what he always says whenever anyone asks him about his military service.) Then the Dr. asked him what he did in the military & of course he just kept saying what he just said. He then tried to ask him what he did when he got out of the military & by this time Tom was getting frustrated & he said something about working with God & then he started getting belligerent towards the Dr. I kept my mouth shut, but I put my hand on his knee to try to calm him down. I could tell that the Dr. was seeing the real story now, but he asked a few more questions & when he saw that he couldn't answer them he decided to go with the picture & blocks. He had a picture & he wanted Tom to put the blocks in the same shape as the picture. Tom really didn't understand what he should do so he stacked the blocks one on top of the other & that's when the Dr. said that he thought we were finished. Then we sat there & he & I had a very nice talk about the whole situation & he basically told me that he isn't the one who makes the decision, but he would make it very clear that there is no way that he could ever hold a job. So now I think it's pretty much a waiting game until I hear from SS. But all in all I'm pleased with the outcome.
    ElaineH-seems to have gone very well.
    Elaine sounds like they saw the Tom you live with!!!!
    • CommentAuthorElaineH
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2012
    bluedaze* & bak - YES he definitely did see the Tom I live with! And like I said that doctor totally knew what I am going through. He even told me that I have the difficult job (of being caregiver). The lady I spoke with over the phone who is the disability examiner was also very sympathetic & kind over the phone & I think she might be the one who decides the case & she actually told me that it sounded like he should have been getting disability after he was DX so I am very hopeful!